The case of Brent Burns and the mysterious injury now has all the twists and turns of your average Christopher Nolan flick. One day he’s making steady progress and could return for the San Jose Sharks at any time. The next he’s in a no-contact sweater and back to not taking any hits or physical contact during practice.
Burns hasn’t played since October 19. At that stage, it was believed that a stick to the mouth was to blame for his absence, but he’s yet to make any real or noticeable progress since then. He’s been seen with and then without the no-contact sweater for San Jose. After taking contact during practice at one juncture, Burns has actually reverted back to the no-contact colors according to David Pollak of the San Jose Mercury News.
According to Pollak, head coach Todd McLellan didn’t call this development a setback and had the following to say on Burns and his health:
There’s days where I think he’s really close and there’s other days when you want to do some work with him and he doesn’t seem able to do it.
This seems like an awfully persistent issue considering that the top-line forward was only supposed to miss a few contests at most while dealing with what McLellan called “sore gums” on October 21. At that point the coach said that ” (Burns will) be out tonight, and hopefully he’s ready to go when we get to Boston.”
That game against the Bruins on October 24 came and went, and Burns has missed all 11 contests since that target date against the B’s. McLellan has been very tight-lipped about any sort of meaningful update, yet the math on this one doesn’t seem to be particularly difficult.
Speculation is speculation, but at this point a gum injury doesn’t seem very likely for Burns.
San Jose has a light week coming up, with games on Thursday and Sunday. We’ll keep you posted with any meaningful updates on Burns in the meantime.